Is there a marketing channel that does not affect my budget while being effective at lead generation?
Yes & Yes. But I won’t be answering this one; Enter Naguib, our good friend, and SEO specialist.
Raunak: For people who do not know what SEO is, could you give us a quick summary?
Naguib: If you do not know what SEO is, or you have a vague understanding, don’t worry, because it lies in one of the grey areas of the Marketing World. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. The main objective of SEO is to attract quality traffic to your site. So whenever users search for something in Google, SEO is basically working towards making you rank first on it in the organic search results.
Raunak: And it’s basically free, am I right in saying that?
The way that I divide search engine marketing usually is into 3 parts:
1) Organic — which is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
2) Paid — SEA (Search Engine Advertising)
3) Social — SMO (Social Media Optimisation)
SEO is the organic form of marketing, which basically means that we do not pay Google to increase your visibility, we optimise your site to get it ranked higher on Google organically (without ad money).
Raunak: Just to give the readers a bird’s eye view, for a startup that is competing against big businesses on search; what should they be doing?
Naguib: First of all it is relative to your objectives and what results they are looking for.
If they are looking for immediate results, paid search is the way to go. Essentially you will be visible to your target audience the minute you implement your campaign.
For SEO, it will definitely, take time. The big BUT however is SEO does NOT depend on your budget. This is why I love SEO, it basically is a fair competition and is not relative to budget. Even if you do have a bigger budget, your website will not automatically be ranked higher. It’s a combination of technical, content and social know-how.
Aspects that are often overlooked like a mobile-friendly platform or page speed, are what make a big difference in the long-term visibility and technical rank of your site.
Another key tactic for startups to utilise, is pushing out relevant content. If you push more relevant content with the right keywords and structure, and push it out regularly, Google will recognise this and rank you higher.
Raunak: Alright, now you’ve told me once that there are thousands of SEO tools but most of them are not needed. What tools do you recommend?
Naguib: I will give you only 3 tools to focus on and yes all of them are free.
1. Mobile Friendly Tool — Google — This tool is especially relevant in this region and in this year with an incremental rise in sites competing for the same local market who by the way search as much on smartphones as they do on desktop.
2. Page Speed by Google — It audits your website for mobile and desktop loading speed. It gives a ranking out of 100. If you get a ranking of over 70–80, you’re doing fine, otherwise, there is always room for optimisation.
3. Google Search Console — How Google considers your website, is if their seeing any crawl error, how many pages are indexed or not. It is a very critical tool for how Google analyses your site and what you can learn from it.
Where can someone looking to learn more, get a chance to do that?
We see many questions and confused faces coming our way at AstroLabs Academy, all of them from entrepreneurs and business professionals trying to figure something out. We meet them at our weekly meetups or academy tracks. Most of the questions we hear come from the same root cause, an inability to do because of a lack of clarity in the matter at hand.
At AstroLabs, ‘Make It Happen’ is a core principle to how we operate with our community and in our culture.
If you have a question, got ideas, or want to contribute your expertise; message us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will definitely hear you out.
Also published on Medium.